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Another Special Ed teacher sees the Light

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spedchic spedchic is offline
 
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Another Special Ed teacher sees the Light
Old 06-06-2008, 03:32 AM
 
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I was told yesterday by my principal and program placement specialist that my job was to teach students (but of course), but also to manage behaviors. And to go further, they explained that it was my job to deal with intensive behaviors and to look at decreases in the length of time that the behaviors occurred as my benchmark for success. Of course the examples given were in the ten to fifteen minute range. Not truly the 1 to 2 hour range that intensive behaviors typically occur when I worry about them.
So, now I too have seen the light. Finally, someone had the "strength" to tell me what my REAL job description was. I am not to send these students home (no matter how disruptive to other student's education they are), nor am I to call the office, (not even if the student is on the verge of psychotic behavior), nor am I to call the parents (because the student is at school and it is their right to receive FREE AND APPROPRIATE PUBLIC EDUCATION)..Oh right.....Yes, I must have forgotten.

I wonder when, where, and if ever a lawyer will check into this board and see the potential money pot to be won if parents of students who really want to learn, try to learn, and do their best every day realized WHO the other students in their child's classroom was and JUST HOW MUCH they were really affecting their child's education.

I myself, will find a place where my skills are valued rather than spit on, even if it is laced with compliments and perfect reviews. I guess my poor administrators did not really understand me when I said,
I AM NOT TO BE USED AS AN OVERPAID BABYSITTER!
It's the only job, I will never do.

Oh well, another sees the light.
Those of you in special education training programs. I beg of you to truly consider these possibilities. They are what is waiting for you. And the ##### of it is, I have a LOT of loans to pay back, and I'm not so sure at this moment, how I will be paying them back. Because I will not return to this madness another year.
Peace


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Old 06-06-2008, 07:02 AM
 
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I hear you and I understand.
I have some students with some truly awful behaviors. But I cannot send them to the office (the principal doesn't want to deal with them) and I cannot send them home. They are ALL mine do deal with, even if they are throwing a major fit of kicking, screaming, spitting, and throwing things that lasts for 3 hours. My options are limited. They disrupt the whole class and then NO ONE is learning because we've got 1 child screaming their head off, and the rest of the kids trying hard to ignore them... in a 20' by 20' room (if its that big).
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I just said the very same
Old 06-06-2008, 11:28 AM
 
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thing to another teacher--

Our school is fairly little so I have a class that has the severe/multiple disabilities students and the ED/BD and those with just low IQ's (LD, EMR or MMR). Well, there is no way I can attempt the academics with the LD/MMR/EMR kids while all this other is going on.

I have a couple that feed off each other so if one has a fit the other is right behind them. All attempts at academics come to a screeching halt...even if I were not directly involved in handling the fit/s (which I am), it is too distracting for the LD/MR who need very close supervision/attention and specific focus. It's not like I can say, "Class, turn to page 46 and do problems 1-10 while I deal with little Johnny..." The others are low enough that I can rarely just turn them loose and expect them to do any self directed activity. I am going to try to set up and pre-train some centers for just such events next year but I don't have many hopes based on what I've seen this year and last.

I go home exhausted some nights yet feel I've accomplished nothing!
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my realization came
Old 06-06-2008, 04:33 PM
 
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the day I was standing behind one of my little guys who was peeing on the grass in the middle of the playing field at our school. I thought to myself, "I can't believe that I went to graduate school and went into debt to be an overpaid babysitter and watch kids pee on the grass!"

If only more parents actually knew how little teaching goes on they would be appalled!

And I too go home mentally and physically exhausted! My Dr. said that regular exercise would help me get a better handle on the stress load.
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Old 06-06-2008, 04:37 PM
 
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OMG I could not have said it any better than you did. But you are SO on target with what you posted that it is unreal.

I hear the same crap and yet when end of grade tesing happens, THEN and only THEN are academic even considered important. Then I hear, you need to do something to make your class pass the tests! DUH, try letting me make office referrals on the most disruptive students. You know the ones, major meltdowns every day..multiple ones, constant disruptions that prevent anyone from learning, throwing objects like chairs, computers and beating on other children.

I'm not allowed per principal policy to even make a referral. it doesn't matter if the child assaulted another child or not! How stupid is it to allow one behaviorally distressed child disrupt the learning of 14 other children who want to learn. I'm supposed to send them out on the playground or into the bathroom so the other child can have his tantrum.

Even better, is that a handful of REGULAR ed kids get whole teams of staff assigned to them. If they have episodes, all four admins, counselor, nurse, psychologist and several reg ed teachers and paras go running when a code is announced for those kids. Something is really out of balance with this garbage!


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Law suits
Old 06-06-2008, 05:01 PM
 
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If more parents really understood their rights and how to protect their children's rights, there would be more suits filed and changes might start happening. It's hard as heck getting some parents to even attend IEP meetings, much less to understand their rights and tose of their children.
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Old 06-06-2008, 08:36 PM
 
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one of my parents of a kid in my class tried to speak up about this issue, and my principal totally blew her off-- IN an IEP meeting.
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Old 06-11-2008, 03:56 AM
 
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If it isn't the special ed. teacher's job to *teach* a student better behavior, whose is it? What should instead happen to these kids you feel you are just babysitting?
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teaching behavior
Old 06-11-2008, 05:29 AM
 
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You've asked a very difficult question. Teaching appropriate behavior is not a curriculum standard and as a teacher it's really hard to get over it and just teach behavior. It would be possible to teach a social skills group weekly, but is that what the child needs who stabbed another with scissors this year? Many of our students have serious mental illnesses and need the support of medication, intensive psychotherapy, guidance counseling, family, and YES, the lucky teacher requires a supportive administration. It's ridiculous to think that a resource teacher should do this alone.
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to devils
Old 06-11-2008, 06:11 AM
 
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<<If it isn't the special ed. teacher's job to *teach* a student better behavior, whose is it?>>

It's EVERYONE'S job. The special educator may initiate a behavior plan, but it's everyone's responsibility to implement it. From any teacher who has contact with the child all the way down to the principal and custodian, everyone must be on the same page.

To assume that the special educator is only one to deal with a student's behavior is to enable failure.


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also to devil's
Old 06-11-2008, 06:52 AM
 
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If I am expected to teach students with severe behaviors appropriate social skills, why is it that 6-10 others in hopes of academics have to suffer--they really cannot do that much independently so they sit and wait or I have to let them "play"--even though I have educational play centers set up, my school and admin still expect me to cover GLEs or alternate GLE's in between fits and temper tantrums.

I wouldn't even mind dealing with behavior issues all day long IF I wasn't also dealing with academic subjects and IEP's and OT schedule and PT schedule and paras schedules and 9-11 other students' educational and health needs!! If a student's behavior is severe, he or she needs to be in a class for ED/BD and not in the gen ed or MR/LD room--JMO.
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Old 06-11-2008, 01:38 PM
 
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<If it isn't the special ed. teacher's job to *teach* a student better behavior, whose is it? What should instead happen to these kids you feel you are just babysitting?>

It's EVERYONE's job! This is not the job of the EC teacher alone. While we may initiate the BIPs, it is the duty of anyone working with that child to carry it out as directed.


Regular ed children with behavior problems shouldn't be "dumped" off on EC teachers to deal with when we don't teach them normally either. Why should we be expected to take children from a regular ed class just because that teacher or principal don't want to deal with them. They'd have a fit if we sent our behavior problems to them! Why should our classes be disrupted so they don't have to deal with issues in their own rooms? The correct approach is to work out a plan for each child and everyone involved to follow it. I never mind helping another teacher with a student, even for short time out breaks in my own class....as long as I know they are trying to deal with issues within their class and not just sending the kid to me to get the problem out of their room without dealing with it. Doing it the other way just shows a total disrespect for our own students and us as fellow teachers. It sends the message that our classes are just dumping ground and that our instructional time and our students' education isn't as important to them.

We ALL have to work together to help these children, not just pass them off on the spec ed teachers.
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Today was my last day....
Old 06-12-2008, 07:35 PM
 
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So, I am in that giddy happy place, where I know I won't be doing this next year. I am so glad to see posters with the same issues. Most teachers have noooo idea how bad behavior rooms have become. We are not providing social skills, we are providing survival skills!!! these kids start out rough, and by the time ms hits, they are completly out of control. I actually had an administrator they could do the job w/fewer blowouts. He lasted 7 minutes with a student before he (admin) lost his temper, called the SRO and expelled the student for the day. I however, DID NOT have the same option!!! My assistant and I were supposed to calmly ignore 'inappropriate behavior', catch him being appropriate and then reward him. SUPER STRATEGY, except I had 4 of them feeding off each other at once. I was sad about quitting, but there has to be a place where teaching still happens.
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My 2 cents
Old 06-20-2008, 06:06 PM
 
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Hi all. These postings made me sad. I am not a behavior room teacher, so my pov is different. I am an ERC teacher and I am on my third school district. That's right. I quit two other job until I found one that was sane. This is an option for you as well. Even where I am now I frequently have students with terrible behavior issues.

My advice is this -- document, document, document. Oh yeah, a sly coversation with a parent can really help. So can telling your administrator about that really litigous (SP) parent that wants to sue the district.

The best news is that it is summer and you can rest up now.
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Behavior Mod Nightmare
Old 07-22-2008, 06:49 AM
 
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I completely understand where you are coming from. I taught middle school behavior mod class where the principal insisted that I lock my door from the outside (part of a new security plan against potential intruders). I had four middle school boys (7-8th grades), three of them with criminal records for violent crimes, and a PT parapro who spent the majority of her time as a 1-1 TA for a student w/Autism, successfully transitioning out of my class. I calmly told the principal that I did not consider that to be a viable option, as they would quite possibly one day find me slain in the room and the boys having gone out the window... I had no support at this school, and it was made clear to me that I would only be rated successfully if I did not "bother" administration with my students' behavior issues. The students picked up on this and realized there would be no consequences to their actions, and until one of them shot at loaded school buses w/high-powered BB gun rifle, nothing was done. Even then, consequences were limited, although he faced felony charges from his actions. My home life suffered, I did not sleep, couldn't wait to get home and have a glass (or several) of wine... the stress was overwhelming. I left the school and the district as soon as possible.
Behavior mod can work if the proper support is there, and problems are addressed early. But too often the students come from unstable, transient families, and have been passed from grade to grade, school to school, district to district, state to state, without the help they need. Waiting to implement behavior programs in middle school is definitely NOT best practice.
Happy note: I am now teaching a s/c K-2 classroom. I have several students with behavior issues that we are making good progress with. My experience was certainly not wasted, I learned a lot about the function of behaviors and apply the knowledge in my new classroom every day.
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I'm glad there was a happy ending...
Old 07-24-2008, 07:36 AM
 
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I'm starting my first year as a self-contained adaptive behavior teacher. I am very excited! I know everyday will not be a good day in my s/c K-5 classroom. I'm glad everything turned out okay for you. I will post of my experiences soon.
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Old 07-24-2008, 08:03 AM
 
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Quote:
I am now teaching a s/c K-2 classroom.
Great to hear this! Isn't teaching the little ones great? I came from middle school too, but went K-2 over 10 years ago. I love it!

I totally understand where you're coming from on the support issue. I had the same problems in middle school as well.
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Crisis Team Response
Old 08-24-2008, 05:21 AM
 
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Every school should have a crisis team response that handles these long difficult situations. They are trained for PCM and restraining students.
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